tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC August 28, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EDT
new this morning on "msnbc saturday," weaker but still dangerous. hurricane danielle loses steam in the atlantic, but still could cause dangerous conditions off the east coast. we have live reports from the weather channel. a day of rallies in d.c. as america marks the anniversary of martin luther king jr.'s "i have a dream" speech. digital overload, why some experts say constant use of electronic devices is actually draining your brain. plus, under arrest, paris hilton busted on a drug charge in las vegas. good morning, everyone, i'm alex whit. welcome to "msnbc saturday" where it's 8:00 a.m. on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. out west. developing right now, hurricane season's in high gear. hurricane danielle is now a category two storm, it is down from a cat four last night. but right behind it, tropical storm earl is gaining strength.
and a possible third storm is in the process of forming. so for more, let's go to nbc meteorologist bill karins. good morning, bill. >> good morning to you, alex. the tropics are getting all the attention. heading towards the peak of the season. we have two storms and one right behind it that could become a storm later this week. let's start with danielle first. this was a category four monster hurricane yesterday. it's weakened overnight now down to a category two. look to those blue arrows that, is a flow coming down from canada. a nice cold front pushed off the east coast and that is what prevented danielle from heading to the east coast, and that protected bermuda too. the storm was powerful enough to produce large waves. and those waves and swells will be arriving on the beaches of the east coast today and tomorrow. and that's going to cause rip currents. be very careful. it's been a beautiful, sunny weekend up and down the east coast, but the water's going to be a little dangerous. if you start getting towed out to sea, stay in it, wait for it to relax and swim parallel to the coast out of the rip current. that's kind of always the
advice. you don't want to fight it and go back to shore, you'll exhaust yourself. the hurricane center is going to rapidly take this storm out into the atlantic. this storm is not going to be an issue for anyone. let's move on to earl. this is further to the south, moving rapidly to the west, and this forecast is getting ever so close now to including some of the southeastern united states in that cone of uncertainty. that cone of uncertainty is that yellow area. as we take it three days from now, we could have a major hurricane, category three on our hands, somewhere off the southeast coast, maybe as far right as bermuda, maybe as far left off the georgia coastline. although these lines are what our computer models are showing, that's the cone of uncertainty area there. far as s as far as the forecast, going out the next five days, here comes earl to the bottom of your screen, that green and yellow blob. that is why it's very interesting. it's going to be due south of new england at that point. so i think it's going to be a close call for north carolina and even possibly new england
thursday and friday of next week. the bottom line on this, alex, is that danielle's not a threat to anyone. our interest in earl are growing by the hour. >> thanks so much for that. coming up later this hour, a live report from the weather channel's jim cantore on where all these storms are headed right now. and developing now, paris hilton was released this morning from a clark county, nevada jail. officials say hilton was arrested on possession of cocaine in las vegas. she was riding in a friend's car when it was pulled over late yesterday. investigators said that car was being driven by a friend of the hotel heiress when they noticed what they suspected to be marijuana smoke coming from the vehicle. residents all along the gulf coast are remembering hurricane katrina this weekend. five years after the catastrophic storm, the recovery process is far from over in many areas. let's go live now to new orleans. and good saturday morning to you. i know that many symbols have
come to represent hurricane katrina. but there's one that stands out for both the simplicity and the powerful feeling it creates. >> reporter: when the levees breached here nearly five years ago, 80% of new orleans was put under water. and all around the city you'll find images and signs that remind us of that horrific time. but there's one that really stands out. >> reporter: it's a simple x spray painted on thousands of homes, but for the people suffered through hurricane katrina, it triggers a flood of emotions. >> i don't want the x to be xed out. >> in some cases they're grave markers. >> symbolize what the entire city went through. >> in the desperate days after katrina, search and rescue teams moved from house to house, marking each one with an x. >> reporter: up here is the date of the search, over here is the unit that actually conducted it. apparently this one was from
texas. this zero shows there were none. >> no one i know has positive memories of katrina. i'm not exactly sure why that x is still around. >> reporter: chanda lost everything in the storm and says the xs must go. >> if we want to rebuild, we have to erase that blemish on our homes and on our city. >> reporter: but other residents say the xs need to stay. clive made a steel replica on his home. >> it's a terrible thing that happened to this city. and, you know, if we don't keep it in mind and keep it -- keep memories of it, then no one else will. >> reporter: one history professor says the xs mark a point in history that can't be lost. >> i just want to make sure there's some effort to preserve not just the symbol itself, but all the stories behind that. >> and it started dreaming about xs. >> reporter: this artist said she was haunted by the xs and so
she started painting them to help her mourn the city she loved. >> i feel like creating the x has helped me move through my grief. >> reporter: as new orleans moves forward, there's little doubt that the heart felt and heart breaking stories will endure. but the future of the remaining xs is fading. and, of course, katrina devastating the neighboring parrishi in parrishs around here. >> you're absolutely right to pick up on that. thank you so much. the recovery process also continues along the mississippi gulf coast. in mississippi alone, 238 people were killed and 28,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of the storm. nbc's mark potter is live for us in pass christian, mississippi, this morning with more on the situation there. good saturday morning to you, mark. i know recovery has been slow in coming. >> reporter: well, absolutely. and there's an impediment to the
recovery. they're working hard here. but it has been slow, particularly in rebuilding houses because the residents say they are facing the problem of insurance. it's as expensive to insure your house as it is to get the mortgage on a monthly basis. and that's kept many people away. and also the high cost of construction now because they have to elevate these homes in the floodplain. there was a 30-foot storm surge that came through. the symbols you see are the light poles painted blue showing how high the water was when it came in. it was at least two or three times my height in those areas. so a big problem. another problem all along the mississippi coast is they've had to rebuild these towns from the ground up from below the ground up, the sewer systems on up have had to be rebuilt. that's particularly true in the town of waveland, mississippi right behind us where we talked to the mayor about what happened in his town. >> the landscape changed.
everything that took 150 years to build was totally obliterated. it's gone. you know, 95% of the residents, 100% of commercial, 100% of the infrastructure, water, sewer, gas, streets, every telephone post. everything was gone. so everything that you e see when you look around is new. >> reporter: and a lot of things here in pass christian are new, for example, this marina behind me, took them three years to rebuild it, four years to open it. they now have a new city hall, new court building. they're going to dedicate the new police department next week. the one thing that has not returned as it was during the storm was the population here. 6,800 people lived in this town before the storm, now only 4,000 people live here. and again, it goes back to what i was saying at the beginning. the difficulties are rebuilding. the insurance problem, the cost
of reconstruction, and the oil spill didn't help the already slow pace of recovery. alex? >> i've got to say, i'm loving the look of the full marina behind you. that was something you would not have seen five years ago. mark potter, thanks for that. and all of you keep it here on msnbc, we're going live to new orleans for a special report from tamron hall at 11:00 a.m. eastern 8:00 a.m. pacific time. our special coverage begins tomorrow at 8:00 until noon eastern on msnbc sunday. officials are in hawaii right now and they're fighting to contain this swirling tornado of fire. can you imagine that? it's a combination of strong winds and brush fires that created this unique fire twister. so far the fire has scorched more than 1,400 acres on hawaii's big island. but the department of land and natural resources says it's about 60% contained. let's go to washington now in a jam-packed day on the mall as tens of thousands of marchers are expected at two different
rallies. organizers of both events are both invoking the legacy of dr. martin luther king jr. on this, the 47th anniversary of the revere reverend's iconic "i have a dream" speech. but one march is more of a direct tribute than the other. right now reverend al sharpton and others are gathering to commemorate the march on washington. but at the lincoln memorial, tea partiers and other conservatives are coming together for a rally of their own. and live at the lincoln memorial. and we have richard wolffe, as well, we'll get to him in a moment. domenico, we have organizers saying they didn't mean to hold it on the site of the march on washington, but that's not stopping them from referencing martin luther king today, right? >> reporter: absolutely. and it happens on the 47th anniversary of dr. martin luther king's speech. they're calling this not
intentional but call it divine province because the messages are the same. when you look at what does this mean for the general election? you know, there's -- when you're going to get tens of thousands if not maybe 100,000 people out to something like this, there haven't been many rallies where there's this many people, where they're that active. when you look at 2008, it was inspired voters. the ones inspired now look like republicans. and in low turnout elections in midterms, that can make a big difference. and if these folks go to the polls and democrats don't show up, that could spell big problems for democrats this fall. >> give me an idea. this thing looks pretty packed already behind you. when do things officially get underway? >> things officially get underway here at 10:00. beck is supposed to speak around 1:30. sarah palin will speak at 11:00. and some of the others, you know, here, dick army, michelle
bauchmann and this is going to go until 1:00. 10:00 is when we get underway. >> thank you. from there now to nbc news contributor richard wolffe live at the dunbar high school. so with a good saturday morning to you, richard, can you take us through these planned events today and the message that the organizers of this march and rally want to spread? >> reporter: well, this is a much more traditional civil rights event really commemorating the "i have a dream" speech trying to teach younger americans what was in that speech and reminding the broader public that it was the march on washington for jobs and freedom. so there's a strong economic piece to this, of course at this time of economic hardship, that's very important. but the kinds of people who were talking on the stage they're setting up behind me are your traditional civil rights folks. reverend al sharpton, and the organizers are promising that education secretary arnie duncan will be joining them as they take this group, much smaller
than the rival event, but take this group down to the king memorial. the site of the future king memorial, which is close to but not at the lincoln memorial site itself. >> which means they're not scheduled to intersect. very quickly, what time does the rally get going? >> reporter: the rally gets going at 11:00. so the rally, this event, and the other event are not going to coincide. they should avoid each other. you never know what's going to happen. these are very volatile issues. we get into race, the kind of popular sentiment here. but the organizers say this is not a counter march, they're not looking for confrontation. >> many thanks for that. we'll see you this morning. meanwhile, tainted eggs, everyone, a new plan by the government in response to a nationwide salmonella scare. can the fda stop another outbreak from happening? plus, royal wedding. is prince wills and his long time love ready to tie the knot? we'll talk about it on "msnbc saturday." ♪
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so hurricane danielle is slowing down this morning. but the tropical storm right on its heels is picking up strength. danielle was downgraded to a category two storm. meanwhile, tropical storm earl is heading west, it's gaining speed now with sustained winds up to 60 miles an hour. and the weather channel's jim cantore is here with more on all this. good busy saturday morning to you in new orleans, there, jim. >> reporter: you too, alex. and you know what? your tropical knowledge is -- you're whipping off these storms and their wind speeds. you don't need me. >> oh, no, i need you. >> reporter: let's talk a little bit about earl here. because earl is certainly -- we cannot rule out impacts to the east coast of north america yet. we cannot do that. and if we get those impacts, they will certainly be toward the middle and end of next week. earl like danielle will turn. but the big question is, when
will it turn and how much will it turn? will it go between bermuda? hit bermuda? hit the u.s. coast? those are all options, very viable options. and interesting enough, there's a storm behind that, alex, which could come farther towards the west. either way, we're going to see impacts over the holiday weekend, labor day weekend next weekend much like we're seeing with danielle. this thing a big wave pump. and even though it may not affect you and come ashore, it's going to produce huge swells and large rip current risks and that will last through the holiday weekend, i think. >> can i ask you real quick? you know that titanic recovery mission up there off the coast of boston right above where the titanic sits. there was some concern that danielle might do something to that recovery and mapping expedition. what do you think? >> reporter: well, they're going to have to deal with huge ocean swells. the same swell that's going toward the east coast, there's another swell which will follow
danielle up toward that titanic expedition. so they're going to have to get those folks out of the way. we could be talking about 25 to 50-foot waves in the north atlantic. they get mean and ugly up there. so they're going to have to pull back on that, probably i would say by tomorrow because it'll be entering the picture up there. so it's starting to turn north now, it'll head northeast. it's going to undergo what we call a transition, alex. go from a tropical entity to an extra tropical entity. and that means is the wind field, instead of being in a tiny centered core is going to expand out. you have, a, a wind thread, and also the waves which will follow it up toward the north. but far as the islands -- >> jim cantore, thanks so much. >> any time. well, new this morning, royal watchers may not have to wait too long before seeing prince william tie the knot with long-time girlfriend kate middleton.
joining me now from london is nbc's keir simmons. >> reporter: this is the front page of that newspaper, the question, is kate to be a bride at last? of course, prince william has been dating kate middleton for almost ten years now. the newspaper is looking at a possible wedding date of next august. now, nothing is definite. these appear to be just discussions at this point. and the palace itself is refusing to comment this morning. but it would fit with prince william's obligations as a royal air force pilot. and the venue they're talking about would be quite poignant too because it is westminster abby according to the newspaper. and that's where princess diana's funeral was held. >> do we even know if he's proposed here? >> reporter: well, you know, that may be why they're trying to keep this secret.
i mean, i suppose it's rather unromantic really in a sense that the palace has to think about these things well in advance. they have to plan them. they have to think about what other events are going on, they have to think about, for example, will the president of the united states be available at that time? and all kinds of other leaders around the world. and yet at the same time, you have this couple who are thinking about getting married and a young man who will have to make a proposal. i suspect, though, kate middleton might have some idea. after all, she has had to wait for a while now. >> let's hope there is. i think they're a great couple personally. >> reporter: we shall see. twitter, facebook, and that ever present cell phone. all that information just a click away. so why do scientists say it may be bad for our brains? leaves germs behind. adding listerine® antiseptic cleans deeper. [ boom! ] to penetrate and kill more germs. [ exhale ] [ male announcer ] listerine®. clean deeper. get healthier™. [ ellen ] i'm beautiful.
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to finish what you started today. for the aches and sleeplessness in between, there's new motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. new motrin pm. the fda is planning to inspect countries, this country's largest egg farms by the end of next year following that massive recall of 500 million salmonella-tainted eggs.
as many as 1,500 people have gotten sick since the outbreak began. inspectors will visit about 600 farms. most of those farms have not been inspected for decades. that needs to change, apparently it will soon. well, most airline passengers would favor a families only section for airplanes. in a survey of 2,000 travelers, nearly 60% say they want airlines to create a section for children or families. 20% said they would prefer child-free flights altogether. like that's going to happen. joining us now, travel journalist. that can't even happen. >> i don't think so. this is a very divisive, hot-button issue. you're either on one side of the aisle or you're not. but realistically, can you celebrate families? >> no. >> what's going to happen to those people who want to select their seats? and what if those family sections don't fill? so i think it's fun to talk about this unscientific poll, but is it really realistic?
>> but do you think there's something that can be done to make families flying with children more compatible with everyone else on the plane. i've been there flying with the kids, now my kids aren't in that position where they're going to scream and cry or in the case of my last flight literally flow up on the person next to them. that was nasty. it happens. but there's got to be something that could be done. >> i think it's common courtesy is what it comes down to. because we're seeing the airline environment being very inflamed these days by virtue of what happened on jetblue. but for instance, i've been on so many planes. i've traveled with great kids and really bad kids. and i think it really goes back to the parent. for instance, most recently, when i was onboard, i had a child kicking my seat and hitting on the tray table and i looked back at the parent and she just looked at me and said, my child just doesn't know any better. i said i know your child doesn't know any better, but you do. >> you should. yeah, that's absolutely it.
i guess you look at this one case out of australia, an american passenger who sued an australian airline after a 3-year-old screamed that entire flight. the woman sued saying she had experienc experienced excruciating pain in her ears. this could happen more and more. >> i'd say she'd have to show some damages and some concern if she had problems with her ears prior to that. >> right. right. >> i guess if we see more and more lawsuits, maybe there will be some more consideration, but this is going to be difficult for airlines to manage this in an economic way to celebrate seats like that. but just common courtesy. keep your kids busy on the plane. air pressure really hurts. it hurts me when i have a cold. so give the child a pacifier, have the kids burn off steam in the airport. >> can i tell you, when i was a parent traveling with my kids, i'd get up a the time. parents, if you're traveling with kids, it's not time to
relax. you're not going to get to do it there, that's not the place for it. that's my experience. travel with val, thank you very much, valerie d'ella. environmental activists are sending a message. they're making their way across the country from san francisco to washington. they're covered in plastic bags and they're urging cities along the way to stop using, you guessed it, plastic bags. [ talking ] [ slap! ] -[ slap! slap! slap! slap! ] -ow, ow! [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum ta tum tum tums
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soil, this is a fantastic weekend. we have clear skies all through new england. and this is going to be a gorgeous summer day, temperatures in the 80s just about everywhere. we're going to go from 83 in new york to 85 in d.c. up in boston, still a little cooler at 76. but on sunday, be prepared because the heat returns. low 90s in the big cities of the east. so it's going to be getting a little steamy by the time we get to the end of the weekend. now the forecast through the rest of the country, shower activity moving on to the west coast and also a lot of damp weather by the gulf coast. and unfortunately, this is the five-year anniversary of katrina. this is not a area of tropical depression, but it's binging heavy rain into louisiana. so here's the forecast for the rest of the country. there's that wet weather along the gulf coast. and you want to talk about gorgeous weather continuing, minneapolis, chicago, st. louis, the ohio valley, all the way down through oklahoma. very nice. and even into your sunday. there's not a lot of troublesome weather around the country, just that rain down there along the
gulf coast. overall, alex, this is one of the nicest, calmest summer weekends we've seen yet. back to you. >> that's great, bill karins, thank you for that. the president is wrapping up his vacation on martha's vineyard and preparing for a packed week ahead. tomorrow he travels to new orleans to mark the fifth anniversary of hurricane katrina. the president will address the nation live in prime time. mike viqueira joins us live from martha's vineyard. so with a good saturday morning to you, mike. how does the president -- >> reporter: good morning, alex. >> how does the president plan to wind down this trip? >> reporter: well, we're nearing the end of the president's vacation, but don't rush us. we have one day left. he leaves tomorrow morning. there have been trips to the beach, lunches, dinners, trips to the ice cream shop, and let's not forget the many rounds of golf president obama obviously now no bones about it, avid golfer. he's been out there rain or
shine. and after several days of rain earlier in the week, we've had a couple of great days over the last few days. when they said this was going to be low key, they weren't kidding. he's rarely been seen, as compared to president clinton when he vacationed up here. they said the president wanted to recharge his batteries. we have not seen or heard much from him relatively speaking. we have been told he gets his daily briefings. there was that brief meeting with mayor michael bloomberg of new york city yesterday prior to playing golf with bloomberg. they said the two men spent about 15 minutes discussing the economy in the clubhouse and then went out and played their round. but you're right, tomorrow it's new orleans, the speech at xavier university. the week chocked full of activity. he makes the speech after going to el paso, texas, earlier that day to thank the troops directly. and then he tackles of all the
thorny issues, the middle east peace talks. sitting down together for the first time in almost two years for direct talks. there'll be a dinner september 1st, wednesday night at the white house. and those talks hosted by the president the following day on thursday, alex. >> you weren't kidding with a packed week ahead. mike viqueira, enjoy this last day, my friend. we'll check in with you again. a little more work for you. 33 chilean miners enter their fourth week trapped in a mine. new video shows the men and relatively good spirits and pretty good health as their time under ground increases, though, they're shifting their focus on the men's mental health. because it could be as long as 90 days before the escape tunnel being drilled is finished and the chilean government is turning now to nasa for help. >> nasa's providing advice. the chileans are very well organized. they have a lot of resources at their disposal. they have done a lot for the miners, and, in fact, the miners
have done a lot for themselves under ground to show the will to survive and to organize themselves to be able to survive this long. so our -- our plan is to go down and provide the advice that the chileans have requested in the areas of nutritional support and behavioral health support. >> well, technology's expected to help the trapped miners. they should be able to video chat with their families soon. and some fluorescent tubes will be sent down to simulate night and day. but wow, imagine that predicament. democrats are hoping the popularity of the president will help them in upcoming midterms. showing president obama on solid ground with 47% approving of the job he's doing and then 68% say their view of the president is very or somewhat important. let's bring in john decker, washington correspondent for roiters. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> when we look at the approval
rating, it would suggest they're in better shape than back in 1994, which is the last time that party got hammered in the midterm elections. what do you think this all says about november? >> well, it provides a glimmer of hope of democrats heading into november, alex. bill clinton's approval ratings in august of 1994, 39% according to gallup. the real problem for democrats isn't so much that the president's approval rating, it's the economy as we all know. >> right. >> we saw terrible numbers yesterday, gdp growth in the second quarter, 1.6%. this anemic growth is affecting every segment of society. even the affluent are being affected with the stock market seeing declines. i think the president and democrats in particular have some uphill winds that they're facing, heading into november. and i think that i don't know if we'll see that the kind of race that we saw in 1994 with
republicans picking up 54 seats, but it's not going to be a good night on november 2nd. >> you've got to wonder if it's also a little bit of finger pointing at the republicans. because if you look at another poll, it says a full 38% blame today's problem economically speaking on the policies of george w. bush. you have just 19% blaming barack obama's policies. do you think the bush legacy poses a serious threat to republicans? >> well, i think that for most americans and i think it's important to look at independent voters. they're looking at washington as being broken. i don't know if they're necessarily focusing on democrats versus republicans. they just are of the mind set, let's throw them all out. and i think that's what kind of election we're likely to see in november. i don't know if they're looking back, you know, at the bush presidency. they're looking at what they're facing right now, joblessness in every state across the country. it is really bad. in some states in particular, nevada, michigan, florida, it's worse than the national average. so i think we're looking at a
situation where democrats in particular are going to feel the brunt of this discontent in november. >> okay. we talk about it all being about jobs, jobs, jobs. and yet you heard mike viqueira reporting on the president's prime time address from the oval office, it'll happen tuesday on the situation in iraq. how does that play into the upcoming midterms? >> well, i think for some americans, certainly those that have been affected by the war that have had loved ones serving in iraq, they're very pleased the president has kept this promise he made. going all the way back to when he was a candidate running for president and of course kept that promise as president, as well, made that promise early on in his presidency. they're pleased. i don't know for the majority of americans if this is the issue that's going to motivate them when they go into the polling booths come november. it's certainly a victory. but i think in some regards, alex, we still see violence in iraq, 50,000 troops remain
there. and on top of all of that, you also have a government that hasn't formed in iraq yet months after legislative and parliamentary elections took place there. so i think the president's going to talk more about the fact that he kept his promise rather than that mission accomplished kind of idea that president bush made when he had that famous speech following the fall of baghdad back during his presidency. >> probably wise. all right, jon decker, thank you very new. >> thanks a lot, alex. whether it is watching tv on the treadmill or checking your e-mail at the bus stop or texting right in the middle of dinner, people are plugged in just about everywhere and all the time. and now some scientists are warning the constant barrage of information is overtaxing our brains. a new report in the "new york times" says that people may be actually depriving their brains of down time, which is needed to process and remember new information. joining me now is psychologist jeff gardere. and a very good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. >> let's break down this overload of information.
how do you see -- does this all make sense to you? we're getting too much? >> it's been making sense to me for the longest time. just watching my kids who can be on a telephone, playing video games, on the computer, watching tv, flipping stations, going to the gym, as you said, watching people on the treadmill, watching tv, listening to music and so on, playing games. i think it's -- and it is too much. and people tell me all the tile, patients come in. i'm tired, i don't understand it. i've been getting a good night's rest. but you never let your mind rest, and that is the issue here. >> so why is that important? why does the brain need the down time? >> just like experts tell us when we work out physically, we should give our body a day to rest so we can grow muscle, the same thing with the brain. the brain is a muscle and it needs time to process what it is that you've learned. if you're able to do that, then you can transform that information from short-term memory to the path ways of long-term memory. >> well, you know, here's the
deal. when you're doing so many things you think you're being so efficient. like wow, check, check, check -- >> like you do. >> don't even tell them what i'm doing on commercials. >> look, you're getting a lot of information. it's quantity, but it's not quality. you're not savoring what it is that you're learning, you're gnat allowing it to become more permanent in your mind, and you're not enjoying the experience as much because you're just shoving stuff into your brain. >> so do you get a sense this is becoming almost addictive, maybe not in true definition of the word, but people are getting used to so much technology, this is how they'll feel satiated without it? they feel this void? >> i think we have become digitalized, digital-aged, information vampires. we just can't get enough. and we have gotten into this mind set that you're supposed to be doing something all the time.
if you're at a checkout line at a supermarket, you have to check your e-mail, delete e-mails and so on. so this is not healthy for us. yes, we are trying to be productive, but we'd be more productive if we just took a moment just to relax. >> yeah. i'm just thinking of the times where you just sit there and read a book uninterrupted. >> you mean the old days? are there still books? >> i still believe me, believe me, when i can. put that blackberry away too. jeff gardere, thank you. >> thank you, alex. stocks finish up -- finish the week on an up note. but we do have lingering doubts about our economic recovery. plus, hurricane katrina five years later. we have new reflections today on how the disaster affected our nation. to face the pollen that used to make me sneeze... my eyes water. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a liquid gel. zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. it says you like soft rock.
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others continue to struggle. joining me right now on the phone from new orleans is presidential historian doug brinkley, also the author of the "the great deluge: hurricane katrina, new orleans, and the mississippi gulf coast." doug, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> you know, when you look back, doug, at what happened five years ago and then you look at the situation now along the gulf coast and the various areas impacted by hurricane katrina, what do you make of the rebuilding process and the progress that's all been made? >> well, there were two different storms really. one hit mississippi where you just had that horrific surge that just wiped towns off all along the mississippi coast. places like waveland and bay st. louis, pass christian, and it all gets forgotten in the national narrative. let's not forget the mississippi coast. those towns are slowly rebuilding. i had interviewed a number of people along mississippi when i was working on my book who said, look, i lost my home in
waveland, but i'm going to rebuild it in waveland. my daddy was born here, i have relatives buried here. this is my hometown and i'm staying. so there's a defiance in mississippi. new orleans is a different story because the levees breached here. it was a manmade disaster, and people in mississippi aren't as angry at social services as they have been in new orleans because there's a feeling that the u.s. government by building faulty levees, the army core of engineers caused 87% of the city to drown. hence, there needs to be more federal action, more federal help to katrina. it's been coming in, but there's a feeling of not coming in at a fast enough rate. >> you know, doug, you talk about the different locations, the different type of storms. what about the indications out there of affluent people in the gulf have recovered, but the people in poverty have not? what are you seeing along those lines? >> well, that's the real story.
the poor got decimated because they were living below sea levels in new orleans. so neighborhoods like new orleans east, lower ninth ward. they're not back. it looks like a bomb went off still five years later, these neighborhoods. and all of new orleans it's hard to celebrate the parts of new orleans that are working because it's all part of a community. now, the above sea level parts, the french quarter and garden district uptown, they're back, river transportation on the mississippi river is back. but it's a deeply broke city. there's no money. there are 22 fortune 500 companies up in minneapolis, st. paul, and only one in new orleans. so the way they make money down here is on tourists. and we tell the listeners, come on down to new orleans and have a great time, but it's the same old story. it's also the murder capital and blocks and blocks of devastation and needs help. so it's a bit of a paradoxical
city. on the one hand, you're telling everybody it's great, let the good times roll, and then you walk one block and it's one of the most blighted areas in the world. >> doug, give me the first thought that comes to mind when you think about what you witnessed in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. >> an urban dysfunction. i was in new orleans. i watched the mississippi river going backwards. i went around, and eventually worked the rescue boats around central city and i saw police department that failed, that wouldn't help people. i saw hospitals that wouldn't take patients in. it was an abysmal situation, there was no federal cavalry coming from the sky the first six days after the storm. it was louisiana saving louisiana and mississippi saving mississippi. and the big lesson is, you know, make sure you have a great emergency evacuation plan, because in new orleans, our mayor, mayor nagin left all of
our buses below sea level to drown. we had no rescue buses to get people out. and you let them drown simply out of laziness. didn't want to take the time to move them to above sea level. they didn't have a contract for extra hours for bus drivers. so they didn't move the crucial rescue assets five years ago out of below sea level. >> yeah, a lot of thoughts there to share for which we thank you as always, doug brinkley. appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> here's a program note for all of you. doug will be on nbc's "meet the press" when brian williams moderates from new orleans. also on the program, garland and wendell pierce. check your local listings for the time. later on sunday, an exclusive interview with president obama that will air sunday night on n"nbc nightly news." my subaru saved my life.
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but while all the major indices ended in the positive territory, they were also in the red for the entire week. what does this mean for the economy overall? joining me now, our silver lining girl, msnbc's vera gibbons. i want to know what this all says. we have the economy slowing and yet the rally yesterday. >> well, the economy -- the second quarter wasn't as bad as some had expected. so you look at the revision from 2.4 to 1.6. and some are expecting a 1.4. that was seen as positive, less bad news is seen as a good thing. you've also got fed chief ben bernanke out in jackson hole, coming in, weighing on the economy, saying that the fed is committed to doing everything necessary to make sure this recovery is, in fact, sustainable. didn't change the outlook for 2011. so the market took that as reassurance. the faith is in the fed because otherwise the economic indicators we've seen for this month have been pretty, pretty bad. pretty bad. >> but you bring up bernanke. is there any indication on a time line when the fed would
take action? >> didn't bring up a time line as to when the fed would take action, didn't specify anything that would trigger jumping in there and saving face. but there are tools, apparently, in the tool box. some of those tools have been discussed. he is committed, as i say to making sure this recovery is, in fact, sustainable. it all boils down how the jobs data look over the next couple of months. but the economy basically right now is very slow, in the emergency room. you really need to see, you know, three to four times the current growth if you're going to see the unemployment rate go down. >> yeah. >> i would expect it in the double digits toward the end of the year. it's a tough go for consumers. and bernanke thinks 2011, things will look better. >> what about the housing market, though? really rough. >> i know. see what i mean, i'm running out of silver linings. new home sales, very bad, existing home sales, also very bad. you know, the worst they've been in years. you have very low mortgage rates
that went down to 3.4% this week, affordability at unbelievable, very uncommon, but buyers aren't getting off the sidelines. how much of this is due to the expiration of the tax credit that got buyers off the sidelines in the spring? and how much is a sign that the housing market is in tougher shape than we can imagine? and what does that mean to the recovery? there's a lot of different question marks. >> can we try to do the silver lining thing because sentiment picked up a little bit. >> there you go. sentiment did pick up if you look at it versus the end of july. i think that tells us that consumers are a little bit resilient in the face of slowing growth, weak job situation, the housing situation, pretty tough shape. but they're feeling maybe a little bit better than they did toward the end of july. even though i think they have lowered their expectations in terms of jobs and income growth and that's disconcerting to say because you've seen the long-term unemployed continue to go up. people are sort of lowering their expectations thinking this is the way it's going to be for some time and that's tough to
swallow. >> absolutely that is. vera gibbons, thanks so much. >> thanks, alex. a big day in washington. we're going to get live reports for you. plus, who are the tv hottest stars out there? we'll get a preview of tomorrow night's emmies where the competition's pretty fierce. ♪ i can't hold her hand on the bus. ♪ or be there to show everyone how great she is. but what i can do is give her everything she needs to be excited for school, while staying in my budget. that's why i go to walmart. she has everything she needs. and then some. [ female announcer ] walmart has low prices on not just a few things, but everything on their back-to-school list. guaranteed. save money. live better. walmart.
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